I just love the Snow White industrial design language of the Apple //c, especially when paired with the Monitor //c. It is a classic design that doesn't show its age. I've even recently seen them setup in homes purely as decor.

It's too bad Apple never made a color version of the monitor //c. I've thought about replacing its tube with a color one. There's a few LCD mods out there, but they lack the vivid image quality of a true CRT. Even worse, LCD panels don't match the curvature of CRTs, creating unsightly gaps where the panel and the bezel border each other (see last photo).

Has this been done before? Is it even possible?

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    Vivid image quality I think that's nostalgia talking... just wait til you try to read text on a 9" color CRT... It shipped with paperwhite for a reason... When I coded for a living, we all had 2 monitors: color so you could see how the game plays, and monochrome so you could read the code. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 19 at 14:51
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    A more modern CRT than ones found in the 1980s, of course coupled with RGB rather than composite video (can an Apple //c even do that?), would probably look fine. After all colour PC CRTs were common up to the mid-2000s. – Muzer Feb 19 at 16:08
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    Could have sworn there is a version with a color-screen .. as I remember using / playing on one .. but its too long ago to be certain.. I know it was an Apple II .. but don't question the letter ^^ – eagle275 Feb 19 at 16:25
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    Please take extra care when fiddling with CRT tubes. They are one of the most finicky and dangerous home electronics out there, and you can get some nasty accidents with them. – T. Sar Feb 20 at 11:55
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    According to Wikipedia, Apple did indeed sell a color monitor for the Apple IIc, after the original monochrome: The Color Monitor IIc followed in 1985. Not mentioned on the Wikipedia page for Apple displays. – Basil Bourque Feb 20 at 22:54

If you don't know, then the answer is "no".

It certainly is possible to get a color CRT tube and matching electronics and fit them into a cleared out case. However, if you have to ask people on the internet, then I'm pretty sure that the responsible answer to give you is:

Keep your hands off.
CRT tubes are high voltage electronics. They are evacuated, i.e. there's a vacuum inside. Them failing catastrophically can be dangerous to your health, home and life. They are dangerous to meddle with. Don't do anything with them, unless you're a 50+ year old TV electrician, who has learned how to safely handle CRTs. I assume that you're not, because you're looking for information on the internet.

Source: My father has been a TV electrician (repairing TVs for as long as they were based on CRT technology) and made that point very clear to me.

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    My father also had me stay away from CRTs. Here's a more authoritative reference: Desktop & Portable Systems 3rd Edition "CRT Safety Procedures" – Schwern Feb 19 at 20:20
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    I remember a friend knocking the neck of a CRT by accident. It was with the screen on the ground, neck up. It broke, made some whooshing sound for a split second and that was it. With years of not wanting to touch these things, this was a bit underwhelming. But yes, this may have been a lucky accident. What really surprised me is how thick the front glass is. – Thomas Feb 20 at 0:49
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    @Thomas Reports of exploding/imploding CRTs are greatly exaggerated, yes. The danger is from the capacitors, not the CRT itself. – Sneftel Feb 20 at 17:27
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    I lived down the street from an electronics repair place. Every few years there'd be an ambulance down there from an experienced tech making a bad move and getting hit with high voltage from a CRT. I stay away from that high voltage stuff! – Brian Knoblauch Feb 20 at 17:29
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    It seems the "integral implosion protection", as advertised on most 1980s era CR tubes, worked in that case. – rackandboneman Feb 20 at 21:36

Yes, of course.

Just keep in mind, it's not only the tube to be replaced, but the electronics as well. Essentially only keeping the shell. The 9 inch tube is of standard size, so finding one with the same mountings should be possible. Colour tubes do (usually) need more depth, which shoulf still be possible as the IIc monitor housing is rather long.

That still leaves the task of finding and eventually a placing the electronics. Unless they are much higher integrated, they will require more space and for sure a different mounting.

Sidenote: If your screen is still working, I'd suggest looking for a non working/damaged one to convert.

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Color CRT tubes are powered by higher voltages (say, 25kV vs 12kV for mono), driven by 3 separate video signal amplifiers (and you have to feed the 3 different color signals - also up to you). The H/V coils in the yoke also expect different voltage and current levels.

In general, you can keep the box only and replace everything else inside.

BTW, the curvatures of mono and color CRTs are not necessarily the same (for a reason), so you will still get the gaps at the border.

p.s. and yes, both 12kV and 25kV voltages are DEADLY FROM A DISTANCE of up to 2 inch / 5cm from the hot points and up to few hours after you power everything off. If you don't understand why, don't even think about starting to disassemble a CRT device.

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  • A careful study of the photo of the CRT reveals a horizontal curvature, but hardly any vertical curvature of the CRT. Interestingly, the sony Trinitron has a similar geometry and readily available in 8" sizes. – ATL_DEV Feb 20 at 16:08
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    LOPT or LOPT-multiplier derived CRT EHT is generally considered less-deadly. I'd be more afraid of some of the mid-level voltages in a CRT circuit, provided at lower source impedance.... or of the shock from an EHT accident making me twitch and touch either some of that sh... or some mains connected part of the PSU! – rackandboneman Feb 20 at 21:35

If you mean to yust replace mono CRT with color one then of course no, it is not possible. You could try to find working color monitor that has compatible inputs and try to fit it inside your housing.

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